New here! Hi everyone!
My father and I have been restoring tractors for several years now. We also restore vintage minibikes. We have completed several cub cadet restores. And one rebuild for use for my father. I did live in town about 20 miles away from my parents, but recently divorced and bought a house with a 4 acre lot 5 houses down from them. I didn’t have a tractor but borrowed the trusty 128 to cut my lawn every week. I always wanted my own tractor and couldn’t talk dad into letting me take one of our restored cubs to use on my lawn.
I picked up a Ariens GT17 at an auction for 100 dollars. People had came from all over to bid on this tractor. It was listed in the auction flyer as “Running machine, cuts grass, everything works” I didn’t go to bid on the tractor but I was there buying up tools, and other oddities. We all got there for the pre-auction walk through and the tractor didn’t run. I knew the guy who owned the items being auctioned. He had passed away about 6 months ago, and I knew he didn’t use his Ariens anymore but cut with a craftsman tractor. Well, they tinkered with it unsuccessfully for about 2 hours before the auction started before giving up.
Bidding started on the tractor. Auctioneer had high hopes of a big sale on this beautiful orange hulk of a tractor. “Fifteen hundred!” He yelled out enthusiastically. I swear crickets could be heard as everyone looked at each other. Slowly but surely the starting bid dropped and dropped. Finally he looked out at the crowd sadly and said “Someone give me 10 dollars for it!” I raised my hand and the bidding war began. I looked at my father and said I’ll go to 100 and I’m out. My final bid, 95 to 100 and silence fell across the crowd. Going once, going twice, fair warning, SOLD! I quickly went and paid my ticket.
I hadn’t really looked at the tractor. Other than I knew it had a 60” deck, wheel weights, a Kohler twin, and a nice seat. Never thought about it being hydrostatic drive. I knew I couldn’t get it up in my truck by pushing. Luckily I only lived 4 miles from the location where the auction was. We ran home, grabbed some starting fluid, fresh gas, and our trusty tool box. After a few checks we realized it wasn’t getting spark. Popped the points cover, cleaned and adjusted, pulled the coil wires there was moisture built up in the plugs, sprayed some cleaner in there, gave it a shot of ether. WOOM! She roared to life and purred like a kitten. The auctioneer came over and said I need to hirer you boys to work for me fixing equipment! That thing would of went for at least a grand if it was running. I drove it the 4 miles home. Pulled in and noticed a trail of oil behind me.
Problems rear PTO seal was puking oil. Hydraulic lines were all toast, seeping oil, rubber coating gone, air cleaner missing and loose steering.
I tore apart about half the tractor it felt like to get the sunstrand pump off. Found a SKF number for the shaft seal, went to my buddies shop and made up the 4 hydraulic hoses, greased the steering box and adjusted the take up bolt. Now she runs and drives great. Need to find an air cleaner cover yet. Can’t find one anywhere! Kind of a tear drop shape.
Total cost for a running driving, work horse of a tractor. $145.00
I’ll get some pictures and post them up. Right now it’s a repair to get it to cut my grass. This winter it will be a complete tear down and rebuild.
Edited by toomanytoys84, August 21, 2013 - 08:13 AM.